Nisku, AB — The Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission (AEBC), appointed in late 2016, has been tasked with reviewing the existing boundaries and names for Alberta’s 87 electoral constituencies. Today, Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties President Al Kemmere took the opportunity to present to the AREBC on the first day of public hearings.
As a representative of Alberta’s rural municipalities, the AAMDC advocates on behalf of rural communities. Although the proportion of Albertans living in large cities has increased in recent years, it is critical to Alberta’s democratic process that all Albertans are adequately represented in Alberta’s legislature.
“In alignment with previous Supreme Court decisions, the highest priority for the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission must be ensuring Alberta’s diverse communities are represented. This requires a fine balancing act that must weigh different criteria such as population, community characteristics, community history, and natural geography.” – Al Kemmere, AAMDC President
Among the recommendations provided to the AEBC is to consider how geographically large electoral constituencies impact the ability of Albertans to connect with their MLAs.
“In some extreme cases, rural Albertans need to drive up to four hours to get to their MLAs office. This can inhibit the ability of elected officials and their constituents to communicate the issues and concerns that their communities are facing” – Al Kemmere, AAMDC President
Where possible, the AAMDC also encourages the AEBC to consider municipal boundaries in their determination for provincial electoral boundaries as municipal boundaries, particularly in the expansive rural areas of the province, already reflect natural community boundaries.
“On behalf of the AAMDC, I encourage Albertans from all walks of life to be engaged in this important process. The means through which our elected officials represent us is a critical aspect of our democratic institutions.” – Al Kemmere, AAMDC President
The AAMDC is an independent association comprising Alberta’s 69 counties and municipal districts. The AAMDC empowers its members through proactive leadership, strategic partnerships, effective advocacy and collective business services. For more information, visit AAMDC.com.